The answer: it depends. Seriously.

First off, it is always better to file sooner rather than later, because some rights occur when the application is filed with the USPTO. The amount of time it takes to complete the application process is not nearly as important as the initial filing date.

Of course, not all applications are approved and become registrations.

In generally, I tell clients that the application takes about 1 year on average. It can take 7 months. It can take 7 years. There are many factors.

The total application time can also depend on:

  • how experienced is counsel at navigating the process?
  • was the application crafted well in order to minimize the odds of receiving an Office Action?
  • is docketing and status software being used so that updates are received when the USPTO adjusts the status of the application?
  • are there obstacles to approval, such as a conflict, a descriptiveness finding, or the need to file evidence of use in commerce?

Each application is unique. No one can accurately promise or predict the outcome or the timing. If they claim do, raise questions.

The most important tips when it comes to the duration of the registration process are (1) file ASAP, even if before there is any use in commerce, and (2) use an attorney to increase the odds of a quicker and smoother process.

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